Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Robi Axiata Limited has simultaneously launched its 3.5G network in the capital Dhaka and port city Chittagong on Saturday, officials said.
The 3.5G network was officially launched by Shahara Khatun, Minister, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, in the presence of dignitaries from the government and diplomatic corps, at a ceremony organised at the auditorium of the Robi Corporate Office in Dhaka. 
Although 3.5G services will not yet be commercially available to Robi subscribers until October, customers may visit the Robi walk-in centers (WIC) at Gulshan, in Dhaka, or Muradpur, in Chittagong, to experience firsthand the 3.5G network over pre-configured 3G-enabled handsets and tablets.
“3G services mark the beginning of the next phase of Bangladesh’s telecom growth story and will elevate the telecom sector at par with most advanced telecom markets in the world,” said Robi Axiata CEO & Managing Director Michael Kuehner, adding “our priority is a quality customer experience rather than just a speedy execution.”
Explaining that the 3.5G network at launch is limited, the area will be expanded over quick phases to test 3.5G network efficacy before the commercial launch of services, explained Robi Chief Technology Officer, A.K.M. Morshed, adding that Robi’s priority is “to ensure that the customer experience with 3.5G services is in no way compromised.”
Robi’s 3.5G roll-out plan is much shorter that the regulatory roll-out obligation timeframe specified in the 3G license terms. 
The company expects to cover at least 40 percent of its customer base and 60 percent of its data users by the end of 2013. Coverage is set to grow to more than 60 percent of customer base within the first quarter of 2014.
Robi has partnered with world-class European technology venders to roll out its new network. Over the next several weeks Robi will actively roll out its 3.5G network through phased commercial launches across the country and introduce attractive and affordable data packages for customers. Robi is currently waiting for 3.5G tariff approvals from the regulatory authorities after which the company will commence its commercial launch.
BBN/SSR/AD-28Sept13-8:43 pm (BST)